Coachlight Bible Study – Philippians Chapter 3

Running The Race Together To The Mark For The Prize


Paul wrote, in chapter one, exhorted the group at Philippi, to conduct their lifestyles or citizenship as it would fit the Gospel of Christ.  He hinted at a metaphor comparing the team at Philippi to a team of athletes pressing on together all the way to the finish line. This was accomplished by the use of the Greek word “sunathleos”, a combination of the prefix sun meaning “together” and athleos from which we get our word “athlete.”  There is little doubt, that to the Greek speaking mind, a picture of the Olympic games would come to mind.

In chapter two, the exhortation was expanded to also contain humbleness and others -esteem.  The group at Philippi was instructed to all have the same mind-set that Christ had when He was a man on this earth.  When Christ, Who has always been and always will be God, became a man, He humbled Himself and became a servant to other men.  He did not conduct Himself to please His human body, but submitted to and did the will of the Father.  This form of humble suffering went all the way to the cross, and He died and was resurrected.  The mind-set to maintain was a mind-set of esteeming other’s interests more than their own self interests.

Now, in chapter three, the mind-set is expanded to put behind all that hinders.  Especially mentioned are two forms of religions: One is the religion of trusting in the Law, and the other religion that hinders is the lifestyle of the saved doesn’t matter, only confession matters.  The exhortation is to put this all behind, forget what is behind, and all run the race together, pressing on together through to the end.  The prize is a new glorified body by the dynamite power of God.



Book of Philippians – A Missionary Letter


Gospel Athletes


Running The Race

The Peace Of God


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4


Christ is Paul’s life

Christ is the Model of Humility

Christ is the One Who Will Change our Vile Bodies

Christ is the Source of Power over Circumstances


The Gospel During Suffering

Being Likeminded with Christ

Knowing Christ and  His Resurrection Power

Stand Fast

Striving Together







While writing  a thank-you letter, Paul takes the opportunity to exhort the Philippians to Be likeminded with Christ in their walk knowing their citizenship is in heaven, thereby experiencing peace.


I. Rejoice In The Lord


Philippians 3:1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous<3636>, but for you it is safe<804>.


A. Rejoice in the Lord

1. Regardless of the present circumstances

2. Rejoice because we have such a minset as Christ to follow

B. Sometimes what Paul writes may seem to be repetitious

1. To Paul the repetition is not from slothfulness or failing to study

2. To the Philippians, Paul’s words are revelation that can be relied upon as true


3636 oknerov okneros ok-nay-ros’ - from 3635; TDNT-5:166,681; adj

slothful 2, grievous 1; 3

1) sluggish, slothful, backward


804 asfalhv asphales as-fal-ace’ - from 1 (“not to”) and sphallo (to "fail"); adj

certainty 2, certain 1, safe 1, sure 1; 5

1) firm (that which can be relied on)

2) certain, true

3) suited to confirm


II. Beware Of Judaizers  -  Citizenship Is Bound To The Law


Philippians 3:2 Beware of dogs<2965>, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision<2699>.

Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.


2965 kuwn kuon koo’-ohn - a root word; TDNT-3:1101, ; n m

dog 5; 5

1) a dog

2) metaphorically: a man of impure mind, an impudent man


2699 katatomh katatome kat-at-om-ay’ - from a 2596 (from) and temno (to cut); n f

concision 1; 1

1) to cut up, mutilation


A. Be On The Lookout For Judaizers – Paul calls Them Three Things

1. Dogs – As a metaphor, men who were bound in the Law instead of Christ

2. Evil workers – Teaching adherence to the Law instead of following Christ

3. The Concision – Actually mutilators

B. Those That Have The Same mind As Christ Had On Earth Are Those Who

1. Are Of The True circumcision (Of The Heart) – Romans 2:25-29

2. Worship God In Spirit – Walk in the Spirit – Romans 8:5 – “Do Mind the Spirit”

3. Put No Confidence In Religions of The Flesh or the law – Romans 2:29

III. Paul Had More Law Religion whereof He Might Trust Than Most


Philippians 3:4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:

Philippians 3:5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

Philippians 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.


A. Paul was circumcised on the eighth day – Just like a true Jew

1. Ishmaelites were circumcised on the thirteenth year

2. The Gentile convert was circumcised when an adult

B.  Paul Was Born an Israelite – Of The Stock of One who had The Covenant name

1. Being from the stock of Abraham, Paul shared with the Ishmaelites

2. Being from the stock of Isaac, Paul shared with the Edomites

3. Being of the stock of Jacob or Israel, was only shared with Israelites

C. Paul Was From The Tribe Of Benjamin – 1 Of The 2 Most Prestigious Tribes

1. Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin

2. The tribe that remained true to the Davidic throne when other tribes rebelled

D. Paul was A Hebrew Of Hebrews

1. Paul was a true Hebrew

2. Of Hebrew Parents

3. Paul’s family kept the Hebrew customs unlike the Hellenistic Jews

E. Paul Had More Zeal Than Most – He Persecuted The Church “For God”

F. Paul Kept The Law

1. Paul was a scholar of the Scriptures

2. Was blameless according to the Law


IV. Paul Puts All Things Aside For Christ – Even Religion


Philippians 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.


V. The Seven Part Mindset Of The True Follower Of Christ


Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Philippians 3:10 That I may know<1097> him, and the power of his resurrection<386>, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Philippians 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection<1815> of the dead.

Philippians 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect <5048>: but I follow after<1377>, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended<2638> of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark<4649> for the prize<1017> of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect<5046>, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Philippians 3:16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.


A. To Win Christ – Verse 8

1. By putting aside all my own ambitions

2. By striving for the Excellency Of:

a. The knowledge (gnosis) of Christ

b. Partaking in His suffering

B. To Be Found In Christ – Verse 9

1. Not by Righteousness of the Law or Religion

2. But by Righteousness of God

a. Through faith

b. This faith is in Christ – not religion

C. To Know Christ – Verse 10 - Ginosko

1. In The Power Of His Resurrection

2. In The Fellowship Of His Sufferings

3. In Being Made Conformable In His Death – Doing God’s will not self

a. Reckoning ourselves dead with Christ – Romans 6:6-8

b. Walking as those raised in newness of life – Romans 6:4

D. To Attain To The Resurrection Out Of The Dead – Exanistasis – Verse 11-12

1. Paul is not saying that he has already attained to the resurrection

2. Paul is not saying that he is already mature - Telios

3. But Paul is continually pressing on with the same mind that Christ had

a. Paul wants to grab onto

b. The same thing Christ grabbed on to

E. To Press Toward The Finish Line  - The Prize Of The High Calling  – Vs. 13-14

1. By forgetting the things he already left behind – Law, religion, etc.

2. By pressing on to the finish line of the race

a. Remember in Ephesians we found out that the calling is to live holy lives

b. This is the High Calling of Christ – Doing God’s Will – Not pleasing self

F. To Walk With The Same Mind Set – Phroneo- Remember 2:5 – Verses 15-17

1. The same mind set Christ had on earth

2. Christ humbled Himself and did the Father’s will – Not His own fleshly will

G.  To Be Glorified with Christ – Verse 20-21

1097 ginwskw ginosko ghin-oce’-ko - a prolonged form of a primary verb; v

know 196, perceive 9, understand 8, misc 10; 223

1) to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel

1a) to become known

2) to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of

2a) to understand

2b) to know

3) Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman

4) to become acquainted with, to know


386 anastasiv anastasis an-as’-tas-is - from 450; TDNT-1:371,60; n f

resurrection 39, rising again 1, that should rise 1, raised to life again + 1537 1; 42

1) a raising up, rising (e.g. from a seat)

2) a rising from the dead

2a) that of Christ

2b) that of all men at the end of this present age

2c) the resurrection of certain ones history who were restored to life (#Heb 11:35)

1815 exanastasiv exanastasis ex-an-as’-tas-is - from 1817; TDNT-1:371,60; n f

resurrection 1; 1

1) a rising up, a rising again

2) resurrection


5048 teleiow teleioo tel-i-o’-o - from 5046; TDNT-8:79,1161; v

make perfect 12, perfect 4, finish 4, fulfil 2, be perfect 1, consecrate 1; 24

1) to make perfect, complete

1a) to carry through completely, to accomplish, finish, bring to an end

2) to complete (perfect)

2a) add what is yet wanting in order to render a thing full

2b) to be found perfect

3) to bring to the end (goal) proposed

4) to accomplish

4a) bring to a close or fulfilment by event

4a1) of the prophecies of the Scriptures


1377 diwkw dioko dee-o’-ko - primary verb dio (to flee; of the base of 1169 and 1249); v

persecute 28, follow after 6, follow 4, suffer persecution 3, misc 3; 44

1) to make to run or flee, put to flight, drive away

2) to run swiftly in order to catch a person or thing, to run after

2a) to press on: figuratively of one who in a race runs swiftly to reach the goal

2b) to pursue (in a hostile manner)

3) in any way whatever to harass, trouble, molest one

3a) to persecute

3b) to be mistreated, suffer persecution on account of something

4) without the idea of hostility, to run after, follow after: someone

5) metaph., to pursue

5a) to seek after eagerly, earnestly endeavour to acquire

4649 skopov skopos skop-os’ ("scope") - from skeptomai (to peer about ["skeptic"], perhaps akin to 4626 through the idea of concealment, cf 4629); n m

mark 1; 1

1) an observer, a watchman

2) the distant mark looked at, the goal or end one has in view

1017 brabeion brabeion brab-i’-on - from brabeus (an umpire ); n n

prize 2; 2

1) the award to the victor in the games, a prize

2) metaph. of the heavenly reward for Christian character


VI. Beware Of The Antinomians – Citizenship Of “Eternal Security”


Philippians 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind<5426>earthly things.)


5426 fronew phroneo fron-eh’-o - from 5424; TDNT-9:220,1277; v

think 5, regard 4, mind 3, be minded 3, savour 2, be of the same mind + 846 2, be like minded + 846 2, misc 8; 29


1) to have understanding, be wise

2) to feel, to think

2a) to have an opinion of one’s self, think of one’s self, to be modest, not let one’s opinion (though just) of himself exceed the bounds of modesty

2b) to think or judge what one’s opinion is

2c) to be of the same mind i.e. agreed together, cherish the same views, be harmonious

3) to direct one’s mind to a thing, to seek, to strive for

3a) to seek one’s interest or advantage

3b) to be of one’s party, side with him (in public affairs)


VII. Our True Citizenship Is In Heaven


Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: {conversation…: or, we live or conduct ourselves as citizens of heaven, or, for obtaining heaven}

Philippians 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.


4175 politeuma politeuma pol-it’-yoo-mah - from 4176; n n

conversation 1; 1

1) the administration of civil affairs or of a commonwealth

2) the constitution of a commonwealth, form of government and the laws by which it is administered

3) a state, commonwealth  3a) the commonwealth of citizens

A. Remember Paul was writing to a Roman colony

1. In a Roman Colony – All people made citizens

2. A Roman Colony had a two-fold purpose

a. To Protect The Homeland

b. To spread the Roman culture

B. The Church’s Citizenship Is In Heaven

1. The church needs to conduct their lifestyle as citizens of heaven

2. The church needs to spread the mind-set of Christ

C. The Church will be resurrected